We Are Family

Author: Pastor Joseph Khabbaz
July 12, 2018

We are family... Were you able to finish the rest of the lyrics to the song? In 2017, the song, "We Are Family," was selected for preservation in the annals of history by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or artistically significant." Although the song was released in 1979, it has incredible staying power, having been sung at family reunions, played in sporting arenas and used in television commercials. What is it about this song that has enabled it to stand the test of time? After all, the song resonates with numerous individuals and organizations from various walks of life and backgrounds. Could it be that the song’s simple yet profound declaration is what connects us to it the most - we are family. While each family member is unique and distinct, families are able to celebrate the things that unite them and enable them to lock arms with those beside them.

In Ephesians 2:19, Paul reminds Christians what it means to be family. To define Christian connectedness, Paul uses a contrast to tell us what a Christian family is and what it isn’t. Paul declares, “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God.” Being part of God’s family means we are no longer strangers.

Being an Australian immigrant in the United States, I have a "strange" accent, I talk about strange native animals and I come from a strange land that's almost as large as the United States but surrounded by water with no shared borders. However, even though we all have our fair share of strangeness, we are not strangers in the household of God. The word Paul uses for “strangeness” denotes someone that does not have a "share in" or someone that is "unheard of." Therefore, when Paul says we are no longer strangers, he means we now have our rightful share in the promises of God, and we are no longer to be seen or treated as unfamiliar in God's household.

Paul's admonition to the Church in Ephesus is easier said than done today. The current generation seeks a church that doesn't just declare, "it's like family," but is also a church community that lives out community. So, how can we as a church relate to a generation that values relationships and continue to create an atmosphere where we can sing "we are family?" Here are some simple suggestions next time you are worshipping at Sligo Church:

1. Write down how many young adults and/or families of youth you're connected with.
2. Invite a young adult or a family that has teenagers for a meal or walk during the summer.
3. Look for others at church who seem like they might be finding it difficult to connect with others at church and make them feel welcome.

If you are a young adult, you can also take action by writing the names of those in the church you would like to learn from. We are blessed to have a congregation that can thoughtfully speak wisdom into your life as you navigate through university prospects, career choices and listen to your questions and even doubts concerning your faith.

Through Jesus, we have certain privileges and rights in the household of God. With that comes a profound responsibility to treat others as family, for we ARE family considering, "...to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12
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